In Perry Zurn & Kevin Thompson (eds.), Intolerable: Writings from Michel Foucault and the Prisons Information Group, 1970-1980. Minneapolis, MN, USA: pp. 1-34 (2021)

Perry Zurn
American University
Kevin Thompson
DePaul University
In this Introduction, we offer, in the first section, a brief sketch of events before turning to track the profound innovations in militancy and theory that Le Group d'information sur les prisons (The Prisons Information Group, the GIP) and its work represent. In the second section, we explore the GIP’s prisoner-centered and largely prisoner-led structure, predicated on the recognition that prisoners have the political knowledge and political agency most relevant to prison resistance movements. In the third section, we trace the GIP’s concomitant reconceptualization of the prison and the intellectual, both of which it embeds in a shared social field of which the former is symptomatic and to which the latter is beholden. In the fourth section, we develop the GIP’s anti-carceral, even abolitionist, legacies implicit within these innovations of militancy and theory, as well as across its archive more generally. Finally, in the fifth section, we close by sketching the GIP archive’s critical reception to date and then carve out new frontiers of interpretive debate in light of contemporary incarceration practices and developments in anti-carceral theory.
Keywords critical prison studies  social movement theory  prison resistance  prison abolition  Michel Foucault  The Prisons Information Group  carcerality
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